Alun Cairns

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Alun Cairns is the Conservative MP for the Vale of Glamorgan (since 2010), and a Welsh Assembly member for South Wales West (since 1999).

Abortion

In September 2011 Alun Cairns voted for Nadine Dorries’s amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill, which was ultimately defeated by 368 to 118 votes[1]. This amendment would have stopped BPAS and Marie Stopes from providing counselling for women with unwanted pregnancies and allowed ‘independent’ counselling including that provided by faith-based organisations.

Mitochondrial Donation

In February 2015 Alun Cairns voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to give birth to children who would not inherit the disease[2]. An October 2014 briefing report by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which had been investigating the issue for three years, stated that there was no evidence to show that mitochondrial donation was unsafe[3]. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed[4]. After clearing both Houses mitochondrial donation is now legal, regulated by the HFEA.

Sex Education

In May 2011 Mr Cairns voted in favour of Nadine Dorries' Sex Education (Required Content) "10 minute" Bill[5]. The Bill stated that "such education must include information and advice on the benefits of abstinence from sexual activity"[6]. It was criticised for only applying to sex education for girls, not boys, with critics also pointing to evidence that abstinence-only sex education (which does not necessarily lead to abstinence itself) does not protect young people from unwanted pregnancies or STIs[7] (although this was not a bill advocating abstinence-only sex education, it would have meant that the only required elements of sex education would be basic information on reproduction[8], plus this new content on abstinence, with further content being up to the individual school)[9]. The Bill passed its first reading by 67 votes to 61, but had little chance of becoming law and was withdrawn in January 2012 shortly before its second reading[10].

Same-Sex Marriage

Alun Cairns voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at its second reading in February 2013[11] and did not vote at its third reading in May 2013[12].

References

  1. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm110907/debtext/110907-0002.htm#110907-0002.htm_div339
  2. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2015-02-03&number=147&mpn=Alun_Cairns
  3. http://www.hfea.gov.uk/docs/2014-10-01_Mitochondrial_donation__an_introductory_briefing_note_-_final.pdf
  4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31063500
  5. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm110504/debtext/110504-0001.htm#stpa_o51
  6. http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2010-12/sexeducationrequiredcontent.html
  7. http://www.thetwentyfirstfloor.com/?p=2325
  8. http://www.drpetra.co.uk/blog/what-do-we-want-from-sex-and-relationships-education/
  9. http://educationforchoice.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/abstain-from-abstinence-please-dorries.html
  10. http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/jan/20/nadine-dorries-sexual-abstinence-bill-withdrawn
  11. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-02-05&number=151&mpn=Alun_Cairns
  12. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-05-21&number=11&mpn=Alun_Cairns

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